Zim mired in election mode months after disputed poll 

Source: Zim mired in election mode months after disputed poll – The Standard

Gift Ostallos Siziba

ZIMBABWE has remained in election mode with Zanu PF and members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) holding mini-rallies a few months after the disputed August 2023 elections.

The country holds its next general election in 2028,

Former CCC leader Nelson Chamisa refused to accept the results of the August elections as he accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of rigging the polls.

Chamisa has since dumped the CCC citing alleged massive infiltration by Zanu PF and its proxies.

Opposition political figures aligned to the former CCC leader have been crisscrossing the country mobilising for support on behalf of Chamisa in the lead up to the formation of his yet to be named party.

Chamisa’s allies led by Gift Ostallos Siziba and Amos Chibaya have been addressing provincial rallies  where they have been hinting on the formation a new political party.

Chamisa has not yet revealed his next move.

On the other hand, Zanu PF members loyal to Mnangagwa have also intensified grassroots mobilisation to push for his third term bid.

Their slogan, ‘2030 VaMnangagwa vanenge vachipo (Mnangagwa will still be in office by 2030), was started in Masvingo much to the chagrin of others in the party opposed to Mnangagwa’s third term bid.

Zanu PF legislators have been dishing out hand-outs to party supporters to buy their allegiance to the Zanu PF leader.

Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha told The Standard that mobilisation of new members of the party was an ongoing process that had no time frame.

“The issue of mobilisation is timeless. It’s a continuous process, so we continue to mobilise,” Bimha said.

 “If there are other programmes they are at the provincial levels.

“Our national priority is restructuring our cells, up to the branch, district, and provincial levels.

“That is what we are doing according to our constitution.”

But observers said the perpetual election mode was impacting negatively on core government business and service delivery.

“It’s odd that just six months into an election term, parties start to mobilise,” political analyst Eldred Masunungure said.

“It shows that there are a lot of struggles taking place within Zanu PF and between Zanu PF and the opposition.

Masunungure said politicians across the political divide were selfish and only concerned about power retention ignoring the plight of ordinary citizens.

“It’s strange. The current case is an aberration,” he said.

“Politicians, especially from Zanu PF are thinking about power.

“We have had prolonged electoral processes at the expense of bread and butter issues such as those to do with the economy and welfare of the people.”

Another political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the unresolved August 2023 electoral dispute had  put the country in perpetual election mode.

“The core business of political parties is politics,”Ngwenya said.

“It does not matter how the academics, industrialists, or the stock exchange look at it.

“After elections, they go through some sort of self-introspection and then they discover that there are certain areas of deficit they have to address because five years is not a long time.

“Even citizens are looking forward to the next poll and all this has put a strain on the economic aspect.”

Zimbabwe has held disputed elections since independence from Britain in 1980 with the ruling Zanu PF using various tactics to maintain its grip on power, including vicious  attacks against its opponents.

However, after taking over power from the late Robert Mugabe in a coup in 2017, Mnangagwa promised to introduce a “new kind of democracy in Zimbabwe.”

After six years in power, Mnangagwa is being accused being more authoritarian than his predecessor.

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